Caroline MacGregor Published

Cancer Causing Chemical Subject Of Kanawha Co. Public Hearing


Updated on Aug. 16, 2022 at 11 a.m.

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will hold its second, in-person meeting this Thursday, Aug. 18, to discuss ethylene oxide emissions in western Kanawha County.

The chemical has been classified as a carcinogen by federal regulators, raising concerns about the heightened risk of cancer to local residents.

During a four part sampling project of atmospheric levels of the chemical over a period of several months earlier this year, the highest concentrations of ethylene oxide were found near Institute.

The DEP says Union Carbide and Specialty Products have emitted ethylene oxide at sites near Institute and South Charleston.

Data from the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2018 National Air Toxics Assessment
revealed six of 90 census tracts with the highest cancer risk from the chemical were in Kanawha County.

The Aug. 18 meeting will be held at the Schoenbaum Center in Charleston from 6 to 8 p.m.

**Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the public hearing would be held Aug. 16. The correct date is Thursday, Aug. 18 at 6 p.m.